Due to a policy flaw, women in the fisheries sector are paid less than men. This is despite the fact that female members of coastal fishing families are engaged in about 80% of fish processing. Therefore, Coast Trust, an NGO, has appealed to the government to formulate a policy to evaluate the contribution of women in the fisheries sector.
Coast Trust presented the findings of a research report on "Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Female Members of Fishing Families" at a press conference at Dhaka Reporter's Unity on Monday, reads a press release.
While presenting the report, Jahirul Islam, assistant director, Coast Trust, said female workers are paid lower wages than their male counterparts. Around 31% of women are not consulted on decisions when it comes to buying family property, while 58% are not consulted on key decisions regarding general household expenses.
On the other hand, only 2% of female members have directly contacted relevant Union Councils when needed. 82% of the female members of fishing families have never participated in any social arbitration or decision-making process, he added.
Mostafa Kamal Akand, director of Coast Trust, said, "Women play important roles in weaving nets prior to fish production. About 80% of fish processing workers are women. When coastal fishermen head out to catch fish, his spouse (or other female member) remains at home to take care of the family for several days at a stretch. There is no monetary evaluation of the contribution made by most female workers. I demand recognition of their work by the government."
The report highlights the plight of the female family members of fishermen in Bangladesh's coastal areas, including Bhola, Cox's Bazar and Bagerhat. Data has been collected from seven unions in four upazilas of three districts. 40% of the total families in these unions are fishing families. Data was directly collected from 1,200 people. Of 20,099 families, 7,994 are fishing families.
Deputy Executive Director of Coast Trust, Sanat K Bhowmik conducted the event.
President of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Badrul Alam; President of Motherland Garments Workers Federation, Saleha Islam Shantona; Joint Director of Coast Trust, Md Mujibul Haque Munir, also spoke on the occasion among others.